Thursday, June 22, 2017

Does God Care? (and does it matter?) - Reflections on Matthew 9:18-26

"Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble."

These words were spoken by someone who knew what trouble in life was all about.  Job had lived his life as righteously as he knew how.  He was so righteous that even God bragged about him.  God blessed him in many ways - he was wealthy, had a good marriage, had many kids, and was well-respected in his community.

And, then things went south for Job.  Unknown to Job, Satan stood before God and accused Job of only trusting God for the benefits he received.  So, God allowed Satan to test Job.  He lost everything.  Robbers stole everything he had and burned all his fields.  All of his kids were killed in a "freak accident".  And Job's wife turned on him and told him to "curse God and die".  Talk about a rough time.

All this happens in the first few chapters of the book of Job.  The rest of the book (chapters 3-37) is a heart-wrenching account of Job's misery and his 4 "friends" telling him it's all his fault.  Job wonders why God allowed all these things to happen.  Job cries out to God for 34 chapters asking Him for an answer or a solution or, at the very least, to just let him die.  And God is silent...

Do you sometimes feel like Job?  Admit it.  Sometimes life throws so many curve balls at you that you have no idea where to turn next.  You get beat down.  You're hurt.  You feel alone.  And God seems absent.  You wonder, does God even care? And, if He does, what does it matter?

I'm reminded of the story of Job as I contemplate what we looked at last Sunday in Matthew 9:18-26. Here were 2 people of different social standing, that had life-altering problems.  One was a synagogue official named Jairus.  The other was an unknown woman in a crowd.  Jairus' daughter got so sick that she was at the point of death, and died during this account.  The woman had an incurable bleeding disorder for 12 years!  Neither one had hope of help from anyone around them.

And then along came Jesus.  He brought hope.  He could do something about their problems.  He had healed people, cast out demons, directed storms and waves.  If anyone could help, He could.  But, did he care enough about them to stop what he was doing and actually help?  The answer was a resounding YES!!!

When the synagogue official came to Jesus, pleading for Him to come with him and raise his daughter, Jesus dropped everything and followed him.  In the midst of the crowd during the journey, the woman touched Jesus' clothes and was immediately healed.  Jesus stopped and offered her not only physical healing, but deeper spiritual healing as well.  Then Jesus raised Jairus' daughter from the dead - an feat unheard of even today!  Yes!  Jesus cares.

But, does he care about you and me?  This was the question Job was asking for 34 chapters.  This is, I'm sure a question you ask all the time.  We have real problems.  And sometimes the answers seem few and far between.  Does God even care?

The answer to that question is a resounding "YES!!!".  God does care.  The old hymn "Does Jesus Care" answers the question this way:

Oh, yes, He cares!  I know he cares.
His heart is touched with my grief.
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

So, know this.  When you are at the end of your rope and everything seems to be against you, if you are a child of God, He cares for you.  In the next post, we'll look at why this matters and what we should do.